What in theory should be a relatively easy task can turn into a stressful situation when faced with endless list after endless list of titles. A romantic movie, show, or anime is usually at the top of the watching list for this particular occasion, but how do you narrow it down?
To help you out and save you some stress, here is a list of anime we think would go well to set the mood, whatever mood that may be, for the 14th of the most romantic month of the year.
First anime on this list is ‘My Love Story!!’ or Ore Monogatari!! in Japanese. This anime currently has 1 season of 24 episodes so it is easy to binge watch in a few days. That way you can start watching on Valentine’s Day and keep the warm fuzzy feeling going. The story is also lighthearted and fun without too many heavy or dark themes.
That isn’t to say that this story is bland or run of the mill. In both the anime and manga the story follows the loveable and kind hearted Takeo as he enters into his first year of high school. His physical appearance is quite different from his classmates as he towers over them in height and build. However, ever since starring as an oni, or Japanese mythological demon, in a school play, he has determined that he is an ugly duckling and will be unable to find love in his high school days. This doesn’t dampen his spirits too much, as he plans to enjoy his high school life with his best friend and resident “pretty boy” Makoto.
Well all of this is flipped upside down one day when he saves a cute girl from harassment on the train. The girl, Rinko, immediately falls head over heels in love with Takeo but laments about how popular he must be with his height and strong physique. With some encouragement from Makoto the two are able to express their feelings for each other and start living out their love story.
You will be instantly drawn into this anime by Takeo’s relatable struggle with body image and his pure nature. Beyond that it is also enjoyable to watch the dynamic between Takeo and his best friend Makoto develop throughout the series.
‘My Love Story!!’ is an all around funny and uplifting anime about falling in love for the first time, dating, and navigating high school life. Definitely something great to watch if you want to feel happy and be overloaded with cuteness.
The next anime on this list is ‘Princess Jellyfish’ or Kuragehime in Japanese. This anime also currently has 1 season and 11 episodes. Again, it might be hard to finish in one night but it’s very binge-able over the course of a few days.
This anime is about a girl named Tsukimi who lives in an all-girls share house full of self-identifying otaku, or “shut-ins,” each with distinct interests. Tsukimi just so happens to love jellyfish. Similar to the themes in ‘My Love Story!!’, Tsukimi also struggles with poor self-image and sees herself as an ugly duckling, or jellyfish, among the beautifully ‘done up’ girls that she sees every time she tries to venture outside.
Her life drastically changes however when she meets Kuranosuke, a young man who is dressed in feminine style clothes and makeup. Without realizing she is speaking to a boy, which she is normally unable to do, Tsukimi enlists the help of Kuranosuke to save a spotted jellyfish she finds being improperly kept in a pet store.
Due to his feminine appearance, Kuranosuke and Tsukimi become friends and help broaden each other’s worlds. Shenanigans ensue due to Tsukimi’s share house having a “no boys” rule, but over the course of time and their friendship, Kuranosuke helps Tsukimi and her roommates transform their outlook on life, physical appearance, and standing up for what they believe in.
Although Tsukimi and Kuranosuke don’t follow a typical romantic relationship, their friendship and bond is authentic and beautiful.
The beautiful thing about Princess Jellyfish is the subversion of gender norms and using your own strength to help you get to where you want to be in life. If you want to know more about this story beyond the 11 episodes, Princess Jellyfish has a 17 volume manga edition and a live action adaptation.
Another anime that is on this list is ‘Yuri!!! on Ice’. This anime also only has one season and is 12 episodes long, plus includes an OVA as well. This sports anime is maybe a surprising choice for the day of love, February 14th, but the relationship between figure skaters Yuri Katsuki and his idol and mentor Victor Nikiforov is a romance that warms the heart.
This anime follows Yuri Katsuki as he battles with the realization that he has not reached the level of success in his sport that he wanted to at this point in his career. His whole world changes however when his idol, veteran skater Victor, shows up at his doorstep vowing to mentor and train Yuri.
As per usual, shenanigans ensue when Yuri’s rival skater, another young man named Yuri also shows up to be taught and mentored by Victor. The three work together to better themselves and perfect their craft.
The reason this anime is included on this list is the absolute beautiful love story that blossoms between Yuri and Victor through the course of the anime. We watch the pair go from a fan and idol dynamic, to mentor and mentee, to partners. Although some say their relationship is strictly platonic, you don’t have to read very hard into the deeper meanings of their actions to see their relationship for what it is.
Victor and Yuri K. offer a look at what figure skating and sports could look like without fear of homophobic repercussions. Their relationship also shows what it looks like when two partners put their own needs aside to help those close to them and encourage each other to be the best versions of themselves.
If you haven’t seen the anime on this list, consider giving it a watch this St. Valentine’s Day. For more lists of possible anime to watch, try this list of the best shoujo anime to watch, and this list for the best cooking anime.
Think a different anime might be better for February 14th? Let us know what top 3 anime you would pick for Valentine’s Day in the comments below!
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